Prenatal Health Could be Key to the Prevention of Childhood Obesity

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Scientists from the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit at the University of Southampton looked at five early life obesity risk factors: a short duration of breastfeeding (less than one month) and four maternal factors during pregnancy - obesity, excess pregnancy weight gain, smoking, and low vitamin D status.

Published today in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the research shows at age four, children with four or five of these factors were 3.99 times more likely to be overweight or obese than children who had experienced none, and fat mass was, on average, 19 per cent higher.

By age six, the risk increased so that these children were 4.65 times more likely to be overweight or obese and fat mass was 47 per cent higher.

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